This week’s Portland Observer, a Black History Month edition, has a piece about the Left Bank Building at 240 N. Broadway, once home to the Dude Ranch, a jazz club that operated for a short time in the fifties. In discussing how gentrification and redevelopment cost Portland’s black community homes and businesses in the Albina area, the article quotes “Jumptown” author Robert Dietsche saying, “It is all gone now, bulldozed away like some kind of jazz Pompei.” A striking quote, even if it’s inaccurate, as far as Pompei goes.
“Jumptown” is a neat book that you can find at the library. Dietsche writes about the thriving post-world War II jazz scene in Portland, centered on N. Williams and N. Vancouver, as well as its decline.
Earlier this year, the Tribune wrote about gentrification in the Albina area. The article touches on the history of redevelopment over the last half-century, as well as touching on debates about PDC and the current revitalization of the area. The author of the piece faces head-on the question of whether the PDC is driving out minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in its quest to increase property values in the area.